by Séamus Easton

First of all, I just want to state that I did not show up with the intention of, as my sister put it, ‘guaranteeing her son a chamber in the darkest corner of hell.’ I just wanted to show the little fucker some support during his big trip to the priest’s birdbath! Getting to take a dunk in that wet little bowl seems to be all the rage, and getting a new name to boot? Talk about special! 

Let me set the scene: I show up in my Sunday best, sporting my newly washed ACDC Highway to Hell official tour t-shirt, which, in retrospect, was maybe in poor taste, but it’s my favourite shirt and I wanted to look good in case this parish was packing any babes. And I’m not talking the sort you find in the manger!

But I did decide to up and take the shirt off because I was getting some looks, and I could tell from my emotional intelligence that people were in a bit of a touchy mood. BUT in fairness to me, the mood was mostly in the porridge because the tiny idiot, my nephew, was blasting tears at anyone who came near him, including the priest. Do you blame the cow if its milk goes sour? I don’t think so! You blame the broken fridge! I’m the cow in this analogy, by the way, and I guess the church is the fridge and the baby is the sour milk, because I mean have you ever smelled a baby? Up close? Woof. 

So anyways, I’m getting these looks and I’m feeling like I have to win back the crowd a little bit. Meanwhile, the priest has just grabbed the kid and the kid starts howling louder than ever, and I say, with a big wink, right, to emphasize that I’m breaking the tension, I say to the priest ‘looks like this little guy has been chatting with the altar boys, hey?

Innocent joke! Nothing wrong with poking small fun, I thought, but this priest, John or whatever, angrily points back at the pew, which was an extremely uncomfortable and uncushioned plank of wood by the way, but he tells me to ‘sit down‘ because apparently I ‘interrupted‘ him just as he was about to announce the baby’s new name to the congregation.

I call dog bark on that, because all I heard was that pretentious old bucket rattling on and on in some made up language, sounding exactly like a wizard casting a spell. So sure, maybe my joke did interrupt his hex, but I think my sister should be thanking me for that! You never know what kind of new magic the church is conjuring up nowadays. New magic has to come from somewhere! 

So, there I am, standing in front of everyone with my bare naked gut just flapping in the wind because, remember, I took off my ACDC Highway to Hell official tour t-shirt to be respectful, and everyone is looking daggers at me like I went and crucified someone! I’m humiliated, right, and my mouth is dry as two bones rubbing together, so stabilize my fluids I decide it prudent to take one tiny sip from the priest’s birdbath before slinking back to my seat. How was I supposed to know that the bowl wasn’t attached to the pedestal! That’s an OSHA violation! That priest’s toe was practically begging to get broken! Besides, he was the one who threw my nephew into the air while his foot got crushed. Talk about selfish! Man of the cloth my left ass! 

And so there we are, priest sobbing on the ground, my nephew flying through the air like the day he was born, and I just decide to call it quits. It’s pretty clear to me that this was all very preventable, but I don’t say anything, right, because sometimes it’s better just to take the high road. So, what do you think, was I in the right here, or AITA?

Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash


Séamus Easton is a writer, performer, and stand-up bass appreciator. His writing has appeared in An Injustice, Slackjaw, The Mindful Word, and others. He can be found on Twitter & Instagram @tweetsbyseamus.